Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Cape, Cape Espechal.
The Water House
This information is taken from a photograph of an information board near the bottom of these steps.The "Casa da Ãgua" (Water House) building dates back to 1770 and is part of a network supplying potable water to the sanctuary through an aqueduct that began at "mÃ£e d'Ã¡gua" (Mother water), a number of springs in the neighbouring village of Azoia that were combined into a domes fountain.
The hexagonal building houses a "rocaille" fountain, and its walls were decorated in murals showing scenes from day-to-day 18th century life.
- in Portuguese (apologies for any spelling mistakes)
A "Casa da Ãgua e un edificio datado de 1770, e enquandra-se no circuito de abastecimento de agua potavel ao santuario, por um aqueduto que principiava na "mÃ£e d'Ã¡gua", conjunto de nascentes existeentes na vizinha aldeia da Azola e que eram reunidas sob uma fonte abobadada.
O edificio apresenta uma planta hexagonal e alberga no seu interior uma fonte "rocaille", tendo as suas paredes sido revestidas port paineis de azulejos come cenas quotidianas oitocentistas.
The Water House stands a few hundred yards away from the main sanctuary buildings, behind where you would stand to take - this picture -
Inside the water house is a beautiful marble "fountain", with an ornate lion's head framed by a stylized scallop shell at the top of a recessed marble arch perhaps ten or more feet tall. It looks rather like a drinking trough until you get close enough to see that it's very deep. It continues to contain clear water - a testament that the aqueduct still carries fresh water to the site.
Unfortunately the azulejos are no longer there..
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